Store Brand Formula or Name Brand Formula?

Before I go on my tangent, here is some back ground information: Ever since Kanan stopped nursing as well 2 months ago, I have had to really do my research on formulas. Kanan seemed sensitive to the dairy in my diet, so I was going dairy free and noticed a big difference. Needless to say, when he started eating less due to his distractibility at 4 months, I knew I needed to supplement with a bottle because he ate better that way. Of course I pumped, but my milk supply was dwindling as well and the only way I could get him to sleep through the night was to give him an 8 oz bottle of formula before I went to bed. But how was I to do that with a dairy sensitivity?  I tried Soy. It worked. But then I did my research. Soy is TERRIBLE for people! Soy formula shouldn’t even be allowed to be an infant formula! Do the research and you will see. It is packed full of estrogen and manganese, both at levels way to high for an infant and inevitably linked to a ridiculous amount of problems. I tried partially hydrolized. Kanan hated it and so did my wallet. I tried Neocate, which I bought on Ebay because I didn’t want to pay 50 bucks a can. Kanan didn’t like that either. Well thank goodness around this time, I started cheating a bit on my dairy diet and noticed Kanan wasn’t reacting as negatively to it as he used to. So I tried Enfamil Lipil and low and behold, aside from spitting up a bit more, he was fine.

And now to the point of the journal: MY GOODNESS THOSE NAME BRAND FORMULAS ARE EXPENSIVE! So when I was at Walmart, I noticed they had a storebrand they call “Parent’s Choice.” I read the back and compared the labels and it wasn’t much different if not almost exactly the same as Enfamil and Similac. And it was HALF the price. So I decided to buy it even though the brainwashed consumer side of me somehow feared that he would grow horns because of my need to save money. When I gave him his first bottle of the store brand formula, I studied his reaction, waiting for him to spit it out and throw the bottle at me or something. He didn’t. During the hours after he drank the formula, I studied him closely again. Waiting for a rash or fussiness or gas or something that would tell me I made the wrong decision. Again, nothing. He was his normal, happy self. Then I was talking with my dental hygeinist a week later as she was cleaning my teeth and she told me she used the same product because it has recieved good reviews. So I thought that Parent’s Choice alone was the good store brand to buy. But Walmart is somewhat of a drive away from me. And today I was at RiteAid picking up my son’s prescription when I noticed Rite Aid had a store brand too. Again, the same fear, guilt, and sceptism arose in me as I picked up the can. But I read the back and again, from memory, it didn’t seem different from my Parent’s Choice Brand. I decided to buy it and return it unopened if I came home and noticed it was significantly different. Low and behold when I compared the back, EVERY SINGLE ingredient, and vitamin, and mineral was the SAME. I thought that was super strange and decided to read some of the smaller details of the label. Sure enough I noticed that both formulas were produced by the same manufacturing company. They must sell their formula to many different stores who then use their own label. I decided to go the website: http://www.pbmproducts.com/content.aspx?ID=54&page=PBM_Nutritionals and sure enough, this respected, FDA approved company mass produces formula for numbers of different stores across the world. And, little did I know, store brand formula have to follow the same guidelines that name brand formula’s do. So even though there are minute differences between name brands on the type of protein used or how much manganese is in a serving, when we are buying Enfamil and Similac and Nestle Good Start, we are still paying and extra 10-20 dollars for a label!

So that is it. I’m a storebrand formula mama from here on out. Why not? My baby is healthy and I’m saving money so I can spend more on him in other ways I’m sure he’d appreciate: toys, a home, clothes, and maybe even college. And whether or not I’m at Target, Walmart, or Riteaid, I know I can buy the store brand and actually be buying the same exact store-brand formula as I would if I were at one of the other three stores.  I still pump and give Kanan breastmilk and I still breastfeed him in the morning and now I’m adding formula but because its store brand and he is still getting the homemade stuff, I am saving soooooo much money. So I recommend that you formula feeding Mama’s out there ignore the brainwashed consumer in you and read the back of those labels.  It is the best Mama decision I have made thus far!

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